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HRV advances three to state meet

By ADAM LAPIERRE

News staff writer

May 24, 2006

McKenna Hering, Jacquie Mattson and Fernando Morales extended their track seasons for another week. The three had solid showings over the weekend at the Intermountain Conference districts, which qualified them for the 2006 4A Oregon State Championships this Friday and Saturday at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.

Hering led the way for the Eagles, finishing as a district champion in two events. She successfully defended her district pole vault title from last year, winning the event by clearing 10’6” in a vault-off with second place finisher Holly Davis from Mountain View. The next closest competitors finished at a foot or more lower, including senior Alisandra Denton who finished fifth at the nine-foot mark. Hering also won the high jump title over runner-up Mattson. The two teammates cleared 5’3” and had to do a jump-off to determine who would take home the title. With the one-two finish, both qualified for state in the event.

For the boys, senior Fernando Morales was the lone state qualifier. Morales endured one of the toughest events of the meet, the 400-meter run, to finish second in the prelims and second in the finals. He gutted-out the two-lap race in his second-fastest time of the season: 2:00.17.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the meet for the Eagles was Leo Castillo being disqualified under shady circumstances after finishing second in the 3,000 meters.

The weather in Redmond Friday was dismal, to say the least. Squalls moved across the city, and the Panthers’ track, sending athletes and spectators into a race of their own, seeking cover from the intermittent downpours. As a field of 25 boys stretched, bounced and breathed deep at the starting line of the 3,000 meter race, the clouds let loose one of the strongest torrents of the day. The gun fired and the 25 spread quickly from a single mass into what resembled a chain of pearls circling someone’s neck.

Castillo and Summit High School runner Dylan Coleman shifted to the front by the first half a lap and would lead for the remaining seven. Coleman crossed first, followed by Castillo a couple of seconds later.

Soaked to the bone and with the look of pure exhaustion mixed with bliss, Castillo congratulated his closest competitors with handshakes and pats on the back. Second was good enough for a trip to state. But somewhere in those grueling 3,000 meters, Castillo was disqualified for what officials would say was, “touching the inside line for at least three consecutive steps in a row.”

“It’s a hard one to take when you are disqualified over something like that, especially when it means you won’t go to state,” Coach Shawn Meyle said. “It definitely was not intentional, and it was frustrating because the conditions were tough, windy and rainy during the race, making it hard to see where you are at in the lane.”

Fortunately for Castillo, he is only a sophomore. His teammate Alex Vanslyke, also a sophomore, finished the event in 9th place with a time of just under ten minutes.

“Districts can be a tough and emotional meet for both the athletes and the coaches,” Meyle said. “It’s the one meet that determines whether or not you athletes will go to state. If they have a bad meet, it’s just too bad.”

Several Eagles missed the top-two cut for state by just a fraction. In the triple jump, Kari Hidle had a season personal record of 34’10”, which was six inches from second place. For the girls’ long jump, Amy Hay improved her personal record by over a foot to finish third and come within a quarter inch of the school record. The 4x100 relay team, consisting of Hay, Laura Yates, Hidle, and Markee Cox finished 3rd at less than a second from the second place team. For the boys, Castillo placed third in the 1,500 meters, missing state in that event by about eight seconds, and Stefan Zosa missed the cut in the 110 high hurdles by about a second.

“We definately had more guys place than last year,” Meyle said. “And we moved up one in the placings to seventh. I thought the kids did great. The conditions weren’t exactly ideal but overall they competed well. I counted 41 personal records.”

IMC district highlights

Girls’ team

1st Summit 160.5

2nd Hermiston 98.5

3rd The Dalles 94

4th Hood River 89

5th Pendleton 74

Boys’ team

1st Hermiston 139

2nd Summit 127

3rd The Dalles 74

7th Hood River 40

HRVHS Girls

(top 8 place)

100 meters —

Kari Hidle 6th

400 meters —

Laura Yates 7th

800 meters —

Melissa Kauffman 5th

Kayla Lloyd 8th

1500 meters —

Kayla Lloyd 4th

Ashley Braniff 8th

3,000 meters —

Ashley Braniff 4th

100 high hurdles —

Justine Campbell 7th

300 low hurdles —

Justine Campbell 5th

4x100 relay —

3rd

4x400 relay —

5th

High jump —

McKenna Hering 1st

Jacquie Mattson 2nd

Pole vault —

McKenna Hering 1st

Alisandra Denton 5th

Long jump —

Amy Hay 3rd

Kari Hidle 4th

Triple jump —

Kari Hidle 3rd

Lindsey Halliday 4th

HRVHS boys

(top 8 place)

800 meters —

Fernando Morales 2nd

Brandon Tolentino 7th

1,500 meters —

Leo Castillo 3rd

110 high hurdles —

Stefan Zosa 4th

300 Int. hurdles —

Stefan Zosa 5th

4x400 relay —

7th, 3:38.35

Jessie Page 6th

Pole vault —

Joel Miller 4th

Long jump —

Jacob Thornton 8th

Triple jump —

Antonio Garcia 6th

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